The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The rails-drawn Dr Drill remains the punters’ pick in Ballarat Cup 2019 betting for this afternoon’s feature race in country Victoria.
Due to run as Race 8 at 4:40pm local time, this year’s Listed $500,000 Ballarat Cup (2000m) is set to run at capacity with Barry Brook’s fourth emergency Meli Melo (3) coming in for the scratched Chris Waller-trained The Lord Mayor.
Firming in from $4.20 to $3.30 to continue his winning streak, the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained five-year-old was last seen winning the Listed Cranbourne Cup (2020m) by nearly two lengths in mid-October.
Kept fresh since, Dr Drill goes up three kilos to 56kg in the Ballarat Cup field but has Melbourne Cup winning hoop Craig Williams aboard again in what could be another easy kill.
There are currently three other single-figure chances in the Ballarat Cup markets including the 60.5kg topweight Fifty Stars ($5.50) for Lindsay Park.
Drawn gate four, the Irish-bred Sea The Stars entire has been in top form over the spring in Melbourne.
Two back he ran a devastatingly close second behind Fierce Impact in the Group 1 Kennedy Cantala (1600m) before returning a week later to place fifth, three lengths off Magic Wand in Flemington’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
The Ballarat Cup looks a much easier assignment for the high-performer, but the weight will be the question for Fifty Stars here.
Double You Tee ($8) and Japanese raider Suzuka Devious ($8.50) are considered the dangers.
Patrick Payne’s ultra-consistent Written Tycoon five-year-old Double You Tee won four on the trot before his last start second in the Kyneton Cup (2000m) on November 6.
The gelding comes back from 57kg that run to 54kg at Ballarat and has Billy Egan riding once again.
Suzuka Devious is higher up the weights with the second heaviest allocation of 59kg, the veteran nine-year-old third-up in Australia and chasing a top three finish down under on the back of a Caulfield Stakes eighth and Mackinnon Stakes seventh.
At slightly longer Ballarat Cup odds are the likes of the Michael Moroney-trained Bendigo Cup third placegetter last start Hang Man ($10) and the defending champion Kiwia ($14).
Archie Alexander’s local Reset six-year-old Kiwia is two-from-two at the Ballarat track – including taking out the race in 2018 when prepared by Darren Weir – and is looking to improve on a lead-up sixth in the Listed Cup Day Plate (1800m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
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